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Juventus can be referred to as European bulldogs once again

Friday 12th May 2017
One look at the Juventus team and you'll conclude they are the most compact and watertight setup in all of Europe. The Old Lady has risen again and she really deserves our respect. In line for a historic treble, the team from Turin has once again, shown they can bark and bite on the big stage.

Juventus has for long, been one of the most competitive teams from Italy. Although they have largely been unable to assert their dominance on the European stage, like AC Milan or Real Madrid. They did win the UEFA Champions League in 1985 and 1996, but could easily have won more, if they'd won the other six finals they featured in.

The Old Lady has suffered plenty of pain at the last hurdle in Europe's elite club competition. Reaching the finals on eight occasions and winning just two, is enough to start the talk of a jinx at the final. However, a few positives can be drawn from their travails.

A team that can play itself to the Champions League final is worthy of being considered a pretty good team. Doing so on multiple occasions makes that team a European heavyweight, hence, Bianconeri can be classified as such.

In the 2003 Champions League final at Old Trafford Manchester, Juventus and AC Milan squared up in an Italian derby. Juve had lost four finals before then and was desperate for the holy grail. Milan eventually ran out 3-2 winners on penalties, after a pulsating encounter.

Following that excruciating defeat, Juventus somewhat disappeared from the big stage. Their bullishness could not take them beyond the semifinal stage; as was highlighted in their loss to Arsenal in 2006. However, after a 12-year absence from the final of the Europe's biggest club football tournament, Juve was back to the fore in 2015.

In that exasperating final played at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, Juventus were again reduced to tears as Barcelona came off with a famous 3-1 victory. It was Le Zebre's sixth defeat in eight finals. Regardless, the pride of Turin had resurfaced at the big stage and deserved respect.

This year, 2017, after another unscathed run in the Champions League, Juventus will play in another final, their ninth. This time, just like in 2015, they are on track to win the treble if only they can overcome another Spanish giant, Real Madrid – they did, on their way to the final in 2015.

Bianconeri will, however, remember Real Madrid from that 1998 final. Real was the Spanish team who had hindered them from celebrating a Champions League victory at the Amsterdam Arena.

An appearance at the 2017 Cardiff final means that, Juventus has now made their second Champions League final appearance in three years. The Old Lady is once again, dancing on the biggest stage.

Allegri's effect

The major reason why Juventus are, making a resurgent impact on the European stage is the tactical ingenuity of one man – Massimiliano Allegri.  The former Milan manager has helped Juve retain its status as Italy's most successful club thanks to his astounding tinker man's skill.

In 2015 and 2016, he guided Bianconeri to the domestic double, a feat which they could easily repeat this year or go one better if they win in Cardiff. Massimiliano Allegri has taken Antonio Conte's system at Juventus, remodelled it to suit his style and achieved success. Probably banishing Conte's ghost in the process.

The strength of Allegri's team lies in defence. The Old Lady barely lets customers in. This can be highlighted by the fact that, Juventus only conceded a paltry three goals , prior to reaching the Cardiff final. Allegri's team has proved difficult to beat; sometimes too difficult damn difficult!

In view of his exploits with Juve, Massimiliano Allegri has emerged as one of the most sought-after managers in European football at the moment. The fact that he has maintained Juventus's pack of giants and gotten the right blend of youth and experience, is the reason why Juventus is once again being revered in the European stage.
Kingsley Ukpai

Kingsley is a football aficionado who craves to read, watch, play and write about the greatest team sport ever known to man. If you're talking football he'll be keen to listen to what you have to say. Loves to play Fantasy Football too.

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